Hidden gem. What a lovely restaurant. First time diners, four of us. There was a show on at the Theatre. Restaurant was quiet as a consequence. Didn’t spoil our experience. Very nice menu. Reasonable prices for city centre restaurant. Lovely, friendly staff. Look forward to going again.
Lovely staff Very accommodating when running late with a theatre production to see. Food excellent Nothing to complain about at all.
Gorgeous food, lovely staff and good decor/ambience. Had a fab pre theatre meal.
Good place for a pre-theatre meal. Excellent choice of food and wines
I always love dining at The Rivals before the theatre but on this occasion the food was quite mediocre - both of our mains were luke warm and the chips arrived after my partner had finished his main and I'd almost finished mine. We didn't complain because we were on a time limit as the play was about to start. Also, there's so much on the menu these days that isn't included in the set menu cost that it feels a bit odd that it's a set menu.
It was lovely to enjoy a great meal before the show, the staff kept the table for us and we had desert at the interval which was lovely.
Food still excellent. Slow and inconsistent service. Quite expensive and supplements for certain dishes excessive.
Great for pre-theatre dinner. Very nice choices for a set menu and reasonably priced for the quality of the food. Prompt service, but do tell them you have a theatre booking and they will hurry your order along if need be. You can also order desserts to have during the interval.
Good for groups as has plenty of big tables. Also, interesting wine list and something for all preferences. Usually go for the Paco and Lola Albariño as it's a wine lots of people like, and goes well with a lot of the dishes on the menu.
Have been here more than once and always had efficient service and a tasty meal in lovely surroundings.
good food, service efficient, pleasant atmosphere.
Would certainly go again
Lovely service . Nice food . A little expensive but a nice treat
The staff were very accommodating, giving us a well lit table as requested (we are lipreaders). The service was second to none. The food was very well presented and everything we had was very tasty. The value of the 2 courses we had was good, the same would be said of the 3 course menu also offered.
I have dined here several times with different friends and will be back! Thank you.
Excellent food, very friendly staff, even though it was a pre theatre meal, we did not feel rushed
We had a lovely evening attending the theatre, however the food we ordered we felt was to ‘heavy’ with cheese, I was unable to eat mine. But will visit again and try the main menu. Service and restaurant excellent.
Been a few times, service is swift and friendly. Food is good - a bit expensive particularly when combined with the cost of a show.
Good Vegan option though could have done with smaller portion and something else with it.
Normally excellent innovative cooking, however, this time the lamb loin with a suet pudding didn't work. The herb encrusted cod and sea trout starter were excellent
Lovely meal and ambience would really recommend especially if going to theatre. Quality of food very good , service very good . I will be going again!
It is always a good way to wind down eat great food in a quiet warm environment.
An excellent meal with excellent and prompt service.
Menu was so inviting and we were not disappointed with the selections we made.
We were a group of 11 so service not easy. As it happened some had finished eating by the time others were served. Everybody was happy with their food though - some felt the portions were small. Staff didn’t ‘get the message’ that we were rushing pre afternoon theatre.
hello - I would recommend the rivals to a friend - but only just
the food was not wonderful although the prices suggested it should be
Lovely food and very varied combinations have been here quite a few times. It’s a nice place to have a meal and chat
We regularly book The Rivals alongside a visit to the theatre and have always had a superb experience. It is a real treat for the senses
Lovely meal but our gin and tonics were spoiled by only having one make of tonic available which was horrible and killed the Tanqueray gin. Any chance of stocking an alternative like Sweppes?
Lovely pre theatre meal with my mum, very pleasant seating position next to the window overlooking St Anns square. Quirky stylish interior of recycled doors. Wonderful, prompt friendly service, great food, can recommend the portobello squash wellington and the gingerbread with stout ice cream. Was relaxed and unrushed. Very convenient for the theatre. Would go again.
Exceeded my expectations both in terms of quality of the food and service. I decided to eat here at the last minute before doing a wine tasting at the Royal Exchange. I was seated immediately and provided with the menu and wine list. The service was attentive without being rushed. The starter I had was Haddock fishcakes with salsa verde which was excellent and matched very well with the Chenin Blanc recommended. The main course was butternut squash and mushroom wellington, with roast potatos and garlic gravy which was delicious. Finished off with a Cardamom brulee which was also very nice and not too large at the end of the meal.
Overall I felt the meal was great value at 3 courses for under £30.
Lunch menu offer is expensive especially as about half of the items incur an extra charge and there is lots of competition in Manchester to a similar standard.
The food was lovely, and our waitress from N. Ireland was extremely efficient and friendly. The only criticism was that the area where we were sat was cold. A lot of draft by window and exterior wall.
The bill was expensive for the quality of the food. My fish cakes were nice but nothing special, my husband’s mackerel escoche was disappointingly ordinary. The main course duck was very good with a delicious sauce but the sweet potato wellington was quite dry and heavy on the pastry. Overall, a disappointing experience.
The entire ambience was superb. The waitresses were extremely attentive and ensured that we had supper and that we took our seats on time. Pudding was in the interval. Excellent.
Delicious food for a pre-theatre meal, served quickly but by friendly staff
excellent food at good prices. we will visit again
The food was lovely. Service very good indeed. Great staff. I like the decor too. Really enjoyed and we will return!
The food and ambience were very good but for a theatre restaurant who are I assume used to pre theatre dining, the Timings were rather off.
As it got closer to curtain time (it was a matinee) we had to chase for the main courses to be delivered and still there was something of a wait for the starters to be cleared and for those to be delivered. The desert ordering for the interval was appreciated but a tad last minute.
It just felt like they weren’t coping brilliantly with a pretty full restaurant which shouldn’t be unusual. As I say, the food and ambience were very good.
Good food very convenient for the Exchange Theater, nice place to eat
Been here a few times now. The menu is always different and interesting. The food is delicious- excellent vegetarian choices. The service couldn’t be better.
The food was excellent, it was a lovely end to a great evening!
Great pre theatre choice. Good food, good value. Excellent service. Will definitely return
Lovely menu, changes regularly. Alway a fish veggie and vegan options. Pleasant staff who accommodate need to get to performance but dont hurry you if you are dining post performance. I particularly like the option to have coffee a d dessert at the interval during an evening performance.
One of the starters had to be sent back because it was inedible. It was exchanged without charge. Rosemary potato had clearly been cooked long before and there was not a hint of rosemary to savour. Poor value for money. Two days later we had a cheaper pre theatre meal at the RSC Stratford and quality was far better.
The Rivals is rated 4.4 stars by 988 OpenTable diners.
You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.